Panaceans, utilitarians, and skeptics: A review of three decades of Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Namibia

Authors

  • Andrew Heffernan

Abstract

Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) is a form of resource governance the objective of which is to achieve sustainable development and empower communities. CBNRM was demonstrably successful in the first twenty years of operation in Namibia but, over time, the literature on the topic has come to reflect the diminishing benefits derived from the program. As such, in this article I have divided the literature into three loose temporal groupings, which I have labelled panaceans, utilitarians and skeptics. The work of the panaceans appeared largely in the first decade of CBNRM in Namibia and view the program as having been successful in achieving the three goals of economic development, environmental conservation, and community empowerment. The utilitarians were less convinced by CBNRM, pointing out that while certain goals were achieved, others were not. The work of the skeptics has appeared more recently and suggests that those most marginalized in the rural communities which CBNRM is intended to help, do not benefit at all. The arguments of the three groupings have evolved over time and demonstrate the increasing challenges facing the programme as well as pointing to useful avenues for improvement.

Published

2022-05-20

How to Cite

Heffernan, A. (2022). Panaceans, utilitarians, and skeptics: A review of three decades of Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Namibia. Journal of Namibian Studies : History Politics Culture, 31, 55–77. Retrieved from https://namibian-studies.com/index.php/JNS/article/view/9667

Issue

Section

Articles